• Michelle

26 for 26

Updated: Mar 5, 2020

Hey friends!

Happy halfway through February!! It is one day closer to Spring and I can not wait! I don’t know about you but this girl needs a little warmth and sunshine! Where I am in the world, in the great Midwest, it is supposed to be sunny and in the 40’s this weekend and I can already feel my spirits raising at the mere thought of that. Plus…’s my birthday this weekend so it’s birthday week for me, yippee!!

I love birthdays. I love to celebrate the people that I love. It is an individual holiday devoted particularly to that person. It is their day to shine and there is nothing like waking up on the morning of someone’s birthday and getting to pray prayers of gratitude for God blessing my life with such a wonderful person. I get just as excited for my birthday. I feel like a little kid because I get so giddy. I don’t worry about tacking another year to the books. I think life is about celebrating. I am another year older, another year wiser, another year strong, another year closer to Jesus. (love this phrase coined by Ian’s mama) <3

I tend to reflect a lot around my birthday. How did my year go? What went well? What didn’t? What could I do better this next year? What is God asking from me this next year of life? How can I grow? What areas do I need to focus on?

Twenty-five was a special year. My catch phrase was #secondquarter. I had watched High School Musical 3 prior to my birthday with a friend for a movie night and the pep talk from the coach really struck me. He was telling the team at half time that 16 minutes was all they had left wearing a wildcat jersey. He asked them what they were going to do with that. They could just give up or get out there and leave all they have on the floor. I remember using that analogy in regards to my life. I only have so many quarters. What am I going to do with it? I dived into my 25th year of life with the intention to give this quarter everything I had. This year blew me out of the water.

I have only a few days left of 25 before I turn 26. As this new year of life is quickly approaching, I decided I wanted to make a list of goals, a list of aspirations for me to strive for in year 26. I use the word strive because I’m not perfect.

Striving: To make great efforts to achieve or obtain something; to struggle or fight vigorously.

I’m striving. I am fighting the good fight. I am giving it my all. I will fall short. It does NOT mean I am a failure. You can only fail if you don’t try. As long as I continue to try, I am succeeding. So, as I prepare to tackle 26 my goals are….

1. Develop a daily prayer routine and be raw and honest with God. I envision stopping at the adoration chapel more frequently and spending quiet time with Jesus.

2. Study and pray through Mary’s 10 virtues. I learned about these in high school and they have persisted to remain on my heart all this time. I want to pray through them and try to cultivate these same virtues in my life. Check them out here:

3.WWJD (What Would Jesus Do)-HWLF (He Would Love First) #Betheanswer. Ian found this movement and I’m a big fan I want to keep this at the forefront of my mind daily and live in such a way that others can come to know Jesus through the love I show them on a daily basis.

4. Put my phone away more!!! I want to be present with the people I AM present with. I don’t want to be distracted. I want to show them they matter. They are important. I care about them and the time I am spending with them. Having your phone at the dinner table is rude, ya’ll. I’m guilty of it but I remember a time when I was not allowed to have the phone at the table. It had to be in the other room or on the counter. I want to go back to this principle.

5. Write more letters. Send more snail mail.

6. Reach out to people when I am thinking of them. It is so nice to be thought of. It always means a lot when out of the blue I get a message from a friend I haven’t heard from in a while. I want others to feel that way too. I want others to know they are important and they make a difference and they are thought of and loved.

7. Complain less and say thank you more. I want to practice gratitude. I am blessed immensely-I ought to live like it.

8. Find beauty in all things. Life is beautiful. I want to see the good.

9. Be open to trying new things and having new experiences.

10. Sleep more hours per night, especially on work nights! I don’t want to deprive myself, I want to guard my rest so I can be my best. I love the quote, “Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will move mountains.”

11. Work out, but work out “for one reason and one reason only: because I know my body is a gift from God and I desire to show my gratitude to Him by taking care of it”

12. Stretch more-Be more flexible.

13. Learn to say no when necessary. Sometimes the best yes IS a no.

14. Confront issues more and stop stuffing things that are bothering me…it’s toxic.

15. Look in the mirror less. I am more than just a physical body. I want to replace vanity with humility; Take off the lenses of criticism and replace them with self-love and grace.

16. Compare myself less to others. I want to say a prayer thanking God for the goodness I see in the other person and asking the Lord to help me see the goodness in me when I am tempted to compare and think I am not as good or not where I should be. I am where I am and where I am is okay. This is my story. I am proud of it. I don’t want to be a copy of someone else.

17. Laugh more. “Laughter is a smile that bursts.” I want to cultivate a spirit of joy.

18. Stop caring what others think and stop living my life in a way others approve of or want me to live. I want to live for an audience of one. I want to be authentic; not who someone tells me to be.

19. Intuitive eating. I want to enjoy my food. “Maybe she’s crazy, maybe she needs carbs. YOU DON’T KNOW” lol I want to treat my body with respect and give it the food it is hungry for.

20. Consistently put away my clothes and keep my room tidy.

21. Wash AND dry my dishes after a meal is done.

22. Be content with the current moment and season instead of living in the past or future. God was in the past and He will be in the future, but He is only in the present moment. I want to trust Jesus isn’t holding out on me. He has every good and perfect gift waiting for me. I just need to trust His timing and enjoy the present moment.

23. Be better about doing laundry, including towels and linens.

24. Read more books!

25. Utilize the talents God gave me. I want to play the piano more and write for the blog.

26. I want to learn to breathe. Cultivate a spirit of hope and wonder at what the Lord will reveal in my story this year.

So, pray for me please! I have a feeling this year is going to kick my butt and stretch me to grow in a lot of ways. I think my faith will be tested and my plans shattered. I feel God will shake things up a bit and beckon me closer to Him to trust Him more deeply. But I also feel like this year is going to be filled with so much joy, so much freedom, so much love, and so much excitement.

Ian asked me about a month ago if I was ready for 26. I said I think so and he responded saying, “I don’t know.” I laughed and questioned this response. Being the jokester he is, he responded saying, “You have 31 more days of wisdom to gain before you are ready.” What a goof. WELL, I’ve almost made it through those 31 days and I think my heart is ready. I’m ready to embark on the first day of the rest of my life. I’m ready to add another number. I’m ready to tackle the world. Bring it.

<3 Michelle